In the today’s world, there are many different tips and tactics for getting the most out of your business’s marketing budget. Thanks to the popularity in varying social media networks, getting the word out about your business can be super easy and relatively cheap compared to some other platforms. Aside from social media networks however, there are other ways that can help increase your organic traffic flow such as SEO practices.
If your business has an online presence (and yes, it absolutely should), then SEO is something you really need to understand. As any Tampa SEO expert will tell you, SEO is more than just the latest trend – it’s an integral part of reaching potential customers and your overall success.
You might think your business doesn’t need to bother with search engine optimization. However, the truth is that just about any business, in any industry can benefit with some SEO good practices.
What is SEO?
What is SEO? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about how search engines like Google find, rank, and display your website to relevant visitors. While some websites use paid search campaigns like pay per click, SEO has the goal of bringing organic traffic to your landing pages. In essence, good SEO is following certain practices that help you rank higher in search results, while also making sure that the right people get to your website.
However, one mistake a lot of people make is assuming that SEO is only about pumping your web pages with enough keywords to out-do your competitors. That’s not actually how it works, although keywords are definitely important.
Keywords aside, search engine optimization also involves creating engaging and relevant content, incorporating appropriate media, and working with algorithms that search engines use to rank pages. As you can see, Search Engine Optimization is much more than ‘keyword stuffing.’
Here’s the short version: search engine optimization is the art of working with a search engine’s crawling algorithms, how it ranks content as useful, and building your authority and reputation throughout your business and website.
How Does SEO Work?
Before you can really use SEO practices and benefit from their full potential, you have to first understand how it works. Knowing what search engine optimization is may be one thing, but knowing how it works is another.
The most important tasks in search engine optimization include creating user-happy content, identifying what potential customers are searching for in order to find your business, and creating the right signals to get your web-presence ranking higher on search engine results.
In SEO, there are two different types: on-page SEO or off-page SEO. Both of these work a little differently from each other, but the two are equally important. On-page search engine optimization takes care of things like the speed of your website, keywords, overall appeal, and other similar problems.
Off-page search engine optimization, however, will focus more on things that will affect your ranking in search engines, most notable links.
When using both on-page and off-page search engine optimization techniques, you’ll find that your website does better in search results and has a more competitive edge to it. Don’t expect to be perfect at it right away though.
Just like all things, mastering the art of SEO takes time and practice. Take some time to understand and figure out how it works, what helps, what hurts, and how you can implement it across all your business pages. With a business page that has strong SEO, you’ll start to outrank competitors and climb the ranks in the search result pages.
Why is SEO Important?
You might be wondering why is SEO important. You’ve probably heard multiple different sites touting the merits of optimizing your site for search engines. You may have even seen the statistics that over 50% of marketers worldwide believe SEO is the most effective strategy in marketing. It’s relied upon by businesses in all industries as well as by both million dollar companies and new start-ups.
While SEO is a tried and true strategy for building an online audience, having people see your website isn’t the only benefit it brings. What are the other reasons SEO is important for your business? Read on, because next we’ll cover the major reasons it plays such a huge role in everyday online activity.
Search Engine Rankings
Why is SEO important? First, we’ll start with the most obvious reason. You need your site to rank higher to show up in search results. If you’re not showing up in search results, the only people visiting your site are going to be direct referrals. The top five results in any given search get nearly all the clicks. In fact, if you’re in the top five results, you’re pretty much guaranteed more clicks to your link. Studies show that 70% of people click on one of the first five results to show up in a search engine.
If you’re lucky, you might pick up some of the other 30%, but ranking higher gives you much better odds of getting new visitors. Of course, if you’re not using SEO at all, your page could show up on the 20th page of results. How many people are patient enough to go through 20 pages of search results? Answer: not many.
We’d all like to live in that idealistic world where people keep clicking on the next page of search results until they get to your page. Unfortunately, that world isn’t part of our digital age. No matter how good your content is, no matter how much advice you can offer, people simply won’t see it unless you improve your ratings.
Get Local Business
The fact is, today most people look at businesses online before they ever walk into the store or book services. People want to know what your business has to offer and what past customers have to say about it.
Search engine optimization isn’t just for websites looking for worldwide organic traffic. It can also drive new customers to your business even when you don’t necessarily sell products online. When people enter a search query such as “home repair near me” or “painting services in Dallas, Texas” you still need to pick up those relevant clicks. While the competition for organic search results might be less stiff when it comes to local SEO searches, you still want to show up before your competition.
Showing up higher up in organic search results can give the impression of authority, and people want to do business with professionals they trust.
New businesses open all the time, and to stay ahead of the competition, you need to rank higher in search results. Just like with any other website, people don’t want to filter through dozens and dozens of results. Using good SEO techniques ensures that you’re one of the first places people turn to.
Driving the Right Kind of Traffic
Getting a high click through rate (the number of visitors that actually click your link in search results and visit your site), is great. However, if they’re not part of your target audience, then those clicks won’t do you very much good. Search engine optimization is about driving search results, but it’s also about driving the right kind of traffic from organic search results.
By using the right keywords, and providing the most helpful content to your target audience, you can enhance your business. You need to get relevant click throughs, because those are the people that are actually interested in your services.
For instance, if you’re an IoT company, but have an article that mentions HVAC applications, you don’t want visitors that are looking for HVAC repair and installation. SEO is really important here because you need to get visitors that are interested in IoT devices for HVAC, but aren’t going to assume you can install their new A/C unit. Yes, you’ll get clicks, but those clicks aren’t bringing you any profit.
Basically, you need SEO to drive organic traffic. But, you also need it to drive the right kind of traffic that will actually help you grow your business.
You Build Great Content
We’ve discussed the importance of keywords in SEO. By now, you know that while keywords are important, they aren’t the end all be all of SEO. One of the biggest goals of a great SEO strategy is building up great content. Remember, search engines also rank websites by the quality and relevance of their content. The better your content is, the more your audience trusts you. As a result, the search engines that rank your page also give you a higher rating for authority and trustworthiness.
Great content isn’t all about the writing, either. It’s also about adding visual interest (such as pictures, diagrams, or infographics) where appropriate and formatting your website in a way that makes it easy to read and find the right information.
You End Up Networking
Search engine optimization is important to building your customer base as well as your presence within your industry. One of the ‘unseen’ factors that most search engines use to rank your page relies on your connected platforms and backlinks. Backlinks are essentially links from other websites that reference your page. This tells search engines that you are more of an authority on your chosen subject, and are more trustworthy than a page without any backlinks.
Some backlinks come organically, without any effort on your part. A company in a similar industry might find great information on your site (another part of SEO), and link back to your page to provide their audience with more information.
However, a lot of backlinks are also the result of good communication and networking with those involved in your niche or industry. Networking can ultimately provide you with a plethora or referrals and information you can use to boost your business.
It’s More Effective Marketing
Digital marketing is important. However, if you’re not using good search engine optimization practices, even the best marketing campaigns can only take you so far. In fact, most marketing professionals consider SEO a crucial part of any campaign they work on. When used as a standalone marketing technique, at least half of the professionals in the digital marketing industry believe that search engine optimization is the most effective way to market a website or business.
Here’s another great thing about SEO: it’s incredibly cost effective compared to many other digital marketing techniques. If you can put in the time and effort to learn the ins and outs of good SEO, you can even do it with virtually no cost out of pocket.
However, if you’re not well versed in search engine optimization, you can still hire an SEO professional to help you along. Even better, hiring search engine optimization experts tends to be much more cost effective than hiring for other digital marketing campaigns.
Search engine optimization allows you to hop into the driver’s seat. You can test different strategies and decide which works best for you. Not only that, you can use SEO to help you narrow down your target audience and find the niche in which you can really excel (and sell!).
One of the best things about SEO is that it’s so dynamic, and you can change a few things to up your search engine rankings as the market changes. Search engine optimization is also helpful even if you plan on doing paid digital marketing campaigns, like PPC (or Pay Per Click) marketing. These campaigns allow you to target specific keywords to get your website at the top of search results for relevant queries. No matter what, search engine optimization enhances your online presence whether you use other marketing tactics or not.
Expanding Your Business
The end goal of any good SEO is to help you expand your audience, and as a result, your business. If adding even a few dozen customers a month to your business seems like a good deal, then SEO is a boon to your business. Ultimately, search engine optimization helps you attract your target audience.
Then, you build the audience that drives your revenue. As you expand your customer base, you also expand your business, and from there, the sky is pretty much the limit.
Using good SEO practices is one of the best ways to expand your business in today’s world. Whether you choose to add on other marketing techniques is up to you, but good SEO is certainly the first step.
Search Results Without SEO
If no one used SEO techniques, what would search results look like? Quite honestly, it would be incredibly difficult to find websites. Without search engine optimization, the results would be too chaotic and easy to manipulate to be reliable. You might search for a specific company, but if another company knows how to manipulate the results better, they’ll show up on top.
Without search engine optimization, it would take much longer for customers to find the right site. Remember how Google has more than ten pages of results when you scroll all the way to the bottom? We’d be spending a lot more time scrolling through those pages even after making a very specific search.
Thanks to SEO though, potential customers are able to find what they’re looking for in seconds which makes SEO vital.
Does SEO Work for Every Business Type?
Perhaps you have a very niche business and you’re wondering if SEO would help you at all. Maybe you just don’t have that much competition or you are just getting started and aren’t sure if SEO is the best thing to start with. Luckily, search engine optimization can be used no matter what your business does or how far along you are. In fact, for businesses that are only just starting out, SEO tactics can give you a great head start boost.
SEO is one of the best things you can do for your business. Even if there are minor problems that are preventing you from ranking higher in search results, by implementing search engine optimization, you gain a huge advantage. Once you’ve started using SEO, you can rest easier and take more time to figure out how else to give your business a competitive advantage. Whether your business lies in a competitive field or not, SEO is vital.
One of the reasons SEO is so important and such a great tool is because it’s fairly easy to control. Unlike some of the many aspects in running a business, search engine optimization can be controlled and changed to fit your needs. Performing poorly in search results? Change up some of your SEO. Need more local traffic? Change up that SEO. It’s easy to take care of and can change alongside your business.
All business types can benefit from SEO and all business types need SEO. There are some fields where the competition is higher and therefore keywords will cost more to implement into your SEO, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more or less important for your industry.
Now that you know that SEO is more than just putting extra keywords in your site, you can see how many aspects it encompasses. Search engine optimization is more than catering to the search engines. It’s also about making sure that you provide great content to your audience. You also need to pay attention to the keywords you target. Be discerning. Remember, you want to get more traffic, but you also need to get the right kind of traffic that will help you grow your business so don’t give up on your SEO efforts.